Toyota and Panasonic want to connect cars and home appliances (Photo: Panasonic)

Toyota and Panasonic are jointly developing a cloud-based service to link cars with home appliances. The product will be ready for launch in the second half of 2014.

Toyota, the world's biggest carmaker, said the new service aims to make mobility "smarter, more convenient and more comfortable." Toyota will use its existing cloud-based Toyota Smart Center to provide the enhanced services.

The Smart Center links homes, vehicles and electric power companies and Toyota said its aim is to achieve an integrated approach to managing energy consumption.

Panasonic, one of the world's largest electronics companies, hopes to strengthen its role in the auto industry, which is increasingly integrating IT systems in the basic architecture of the car.

Automakers and electronics companies are, in general, deepening their cooperation, as consumers increasingly want access to non-traditional automotive products and services from their cars.

Toyota and Panasonic are already cooperating on the development of telematics systems to link cars and home appliances. The companies' respective cloud-based services are now linked, they said.

In a press release, the two companies said they are preparing a range of new services, including in-car apps to check the status of home appliances. As an example, they mentioned an app that lets a user turn home air-conditioning systems on or off.